Top education in computer science

The department runs two Bachelor’s degree programmes (one in “computer science” and one in “IT-product development”, and two Master’s degree programmes (one in “computer science” and one in “IT-product development”), both with a high number of students.  We also have a Master’s degree programme within part-time supplementary education. This means that the teaching load on the academic staff is high, and hence we have no plans to extend (or reduce) the number of study programmes. In 2015, more than 14% of all new bachelors at ST enroll at our department. In 2015, more than 90 students graduate with a Master's degree. In total, we have 591 active bachelor students (399 computer science, 192 IT) and 260 master students (185 computer science, 75 IT) as of October 2014. In addition to that comes exchange-, part-time students, etc. Thus our student per FTE faculty member is high - indeed it is substantially higher than the other science departments at AU– and that limits the available time per student. A related challenge is that for several years it has been difficult to man the courses in the IT study programs.

A key challenge for us is that we have an above-average drop-out rate. We have analysed why that is the case and we believe we can reduce the drop-out rate by being more selective with the students we admit (possibly admitting fewer students which would lead to an increase in the time available per student) since our students have a lower GPA than students on other study programs at ST. We also wish to improve our study programmes expecting this effort to support our goal.

The latter fits well with the fact that we also believe that it is time to revisit the computer science study programme, which has not been fundamentally revised for some years. It is foreseen that in the beginning of summer 2017 the semester structure will change at ST, so it makes sense to align the revision in order for us to be able to implement the new program in the beginning of the new academic year 2017.

 


Goals for Education

Revise and improve the computer science and IT study programmes

Indicators

  • The number of contact hours between students and teachers (faculty and TAs).
  • Maintain the high employment rate of recent graduates.
  • The breadth and depth of programming experience students get during their studies.
  • More written reports with feedback, training the students' writing skills.
  • A reasonable number of suggested study specializations ensuring progression.
  • Ensure alignment between specialization courses and Master’s theses.
  • Scores in the evaluation of the physical and psychological study environment.

Actions

  • Revise the computer science and IT study programmes.
  • Consider making more use of project-oriented teaching with supervision from senior scientific staff, bringing students close to staff.
  • The department has active student associations (DSAU for the Computer Science students and SOFA for the IT students). In addition to this, there is an active student association UNITY that bridges all students at Katrinebjerg. We will continue the active cooperation with the student associations and support them as much as possible. They constitute an invaluable part of establishing a good study environment.

Initiate an elite program for talented students

Indicators

  • The number of students following our elite program (we should probably aim for 10-20% of the student population).
  • The number of students who wish to pursue a PhD.

Actions

  • Further develop the CS challenge program initiated for new bachelor students since 2015.
  • Design and implement the elite program, using the experiences obtained in other departments at ST.

Ensure that our faculty teaching resources are spent wisely

Indicators

  • The number of students per specialisation should be reasonable (small enough to have sufficient teaching resources per student and large enough to have a reasonable number of students per course).
  • Number of courses that can be used across several education programs.
  • Ensure that there is a more long term plan for the manning of the courses in the IT study lines.

Actions

  • Revise the computer science and IT study programmes.
  • Management focus on manning of courses.